Monday, September 28, 2009

Daddy Issues

I envy and hate my step-daughters.

Not for their age and potential. Not for all the money in this week's lotto jackpot would I subject myself to the vagaries of being a young hormone-ridden teen girl-child, and as far as potential, well, I don't think the life I carved for myself lacks in any aspect. I've done what I set out to do and I have no regrets about my trajectory.

Instead, I envy them the loving, doting father they possess; my husband. I envy them his presence in their lives, his active interest in all they do, and his obvious love and concern for them. I envy how he spoils them rotten with attention and material goods. I envy them the chance they have to express their love and thankfulness for all he does.

I hate them for their uncomprehending reception of his largess. They accept his love and attention and gifts and devotion to their well-being as if it simply is their due, and no thanks is required. They have no idea of the sacrifices and care he takes on their behalf, and if they knew they wouldn't care. It's simply his job, you see. I hate them because they won't realize what an amazing man their father is until they're much older, and maybe he won't be around for them to tell him how they appreciate him. I hate them for the words that may remain unsaid; that should never remain unsaid.

I hate them because they're me at that age, and I hate myself for not saying what I should have to my father before he died. I always thought there'd be more time... more time to get to know the man he was; more time to tell him what he meant to me. I hate them because they don't understand what a wonderful life he's given them. They've never known want, or pain, or hunger, yet they think their spoiled little self-obsessed lives are sooo hard. I hate that they let him slave on behind the scenes in complete self-abnegation, without recognition, aside from the occasional kiss on the cheek.

Somehow, for him, this is enough. Not being a parent, I don't understand how it can be, but he is content and is quite puzzled at my indignation on his behalf. I can only hope that my own father took his own kisses on the cheek as payment in full for all his efforts on my behalf.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

All She Wants To Do is Knit

You probably didn't know it, but August was the Month of Noro, at least in my world. That entrelac scarf I began for my mother-in-law charmed me so much that I marched to the yarn store for more Noro for another scarf.

These have been done for a short while now; actually long enough that I got to show them off at this month's knitting guild! These are the first things I've knit that I felt good enough to show off in public. This weekend I finally got around to blocking them, so I thought I'd show them off while they're on the wires, and then maybe get other pics of them in use.

The one I made for my MIL:


The scarf I made for myself:


Side by each:


The "bonus" hat I made, reclining (blocking) gracefully in a soccer-ball:


I soaked the knit-wear in hair conditioner for a half-hour before I soaked it in... well, Soak. Noro's eye-sizzling colours come with a price: the yarn is as disappointing to the fingers as it is pleasing to the eyes. For a wook-silk-mohair blend, it isn't as soft as it should be, so I'm trying to encourage the yarn to bloom. I'll know when it's dry if it worked or not.

I am determined to clean my WIP pile before I cast on something new. I need a fresh start, and rather than burning a pile of aborted and defective knitwear on the rear lawn, I've decided to wade in and finish what I've started. For instance, I've pulled the cuff off a pair of socks that I knit for hubby; the top ribbing became rather floppy and needed a cuff re-do, so that's my travelling project at the moment. At home, I've finished one sleeve of the long-suffering Rainbow cardigan and have begun the second sleeve. I'm also re-knitting the angora liner for mum's mittens; they felted horribly last winter so I'm re-knitting them a third larger, pre-felting them and sewing them in. They need to be to her soon, as winter is soon to close on Alberta (not to mention the rest of us.)

The burning desire to cast on something new and pretty should keep me sufficiently motivated to burn through my WIP's, at least for a while. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Crisis Averted

I have a crisis of confidence every semester. I know (to the point of arrogance, perhaps) that I'm smart enough to handle anything that comes at me, yet in Week Two when we're given our first significant assignment in a new programming language, I panic. I flip wildly through textbooks, Google twenty related topics, email friends, click through menus, and generally have a little melt-down. "THIS language will do me in. I'm really not smart enough to be a programmer and this moment is proof!" moans my internal wimp.

Then I get frightened, and determined. I make a pot of coffee, fix some snacks, do a little knitting to clear my head, and sit down and tackle it again, banishing that negative voice in my head. Failure is not an option; giving up even less so. Hours pass, my shoulders and neck and wrists ache, but I have written something that, while not perfect, gives me hope.

I ask a friend in class about some issues still remaining, and he points to an innocuous line of code and says "Why is that there?". I comment it out, and suddenly my major issues are solved. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but I feel as if I'm slowly climbing on top of the language.

Then in class, the prof stops by my laptop to answer a question I have, and comments that I'm doing everything right and this is what he wants to see. I know then that the panic and fear was unfounded and that this is not the language that will finish me. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, I will stay up late and code early and obsess about it, but knowledge will reward those who earnestly seek it. C# shall be mine.

PS... I'm looking for interesting co-op opportunities for the winter and summer semesters, Jan-Aug. Do you know of any companies that could use some cheap programming for the duration? Especially in the tropics? *grins*

Monday, September 14, 2009

On The Run Again

My first week of classes is over and I'm hyped about the new semester. I have four core programming courses: Object Oriented Programming II (Java), Systems Analysis and Design, Web Programming (HTML, CSS, Perl, PHP, Javascript) and Graphical User Interface Programming (C#), as well as an elective (Wine, Food and Culture... tough gig, no?) and an hour a week for Co-op prep, as our co-op work terms will begin in January. I already love all my classes and I think I have truly wonderful profs in all of them.

I finished my homework on Saturday and had the luxury of spending Sunday in the sewing room, finishing two blocks of "Storybook Farm", Room to Breeze and Wooly Good Friends. This quilt is cuteness epitomized... the tiny little quilt on the clothesline is actually a real quilt, made separately, machine quilted and then pinned on the clothesline with wee clothespins. Pics to come!

I also finished knitting a hat and scarf set in Noro. Again, pics on the way after blocking. I am working my way though my "ugh" knitting pile before I will allow myself to cast on something new... perhaps this, or maybe this? I certainly need to cast on a sock for easy school knitting.

Now that DH is all officerized, he's away on course until February, but not so far away that he can't come home on weekends. The house is rather quiet, which makes for excellent studying, but the kitties and I miss him.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Just Rewards

From the utterly trivial to matters most important. Today at a rather informal BBQ, my husband received his commission. As a nod to the fact that the wife is always the higher rank in a relationship (!), I got the task of actually putting his new rank up.


My husband, who is usually so composed, was noticeably jittery this morning. It was kinda cute, but I wasn't surprised. It's the biggest career move for him since he joined the military 22 years ago. I am so proud of him for having the guts to make such a major change at a point in his career when it would be so easy to just ride it out until quittin' time.


Wayne with two of his proud girls; myself and daughter H.


Where he's come from, and where he is. Where he (and by extension, we) are going is a big mystery now that we're stepped into the whirlwind, but I am his biggest fan and we can handle whatever comes.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Do You Want To Date My Avatar?

If you've been around for five minutes or so, you'll know that in my down time I am Aishaii, hammer warrior, Legendary Cartographer, and soon to be Elona Vanquisher and Holy Lightbringer. I also roam around as Puck, a hot necromancer, but I'm concentrating on getting my titles for Aishaii.

Most of you are probably going "WFT?" about now. It's okay not to know what I'm talking about. You see, I'm addicted to Guild Wars, an MMORPG. As a female programmer and avid gamer, this makes me uniquely geeky.

Then, I found this through a contact in my guild.

Aaaah. My love of gaming and alternate reality set to a catchy pop beat by a hot girl who is WAY nerdier than I am (check out her education!). I have a new heroine. :)